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by Cale Cloud
Grady County Extension Service
Agricultural and Natural
I received a homeowner call recently to check out a pond, identify some weeds and make recommendations. While I was checking out the pond, the one weed that stood out to me more than anything was the weed you see in this image.
This weed is better known as Alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides).
Alligatorweed, which originated in South America, is considered an invasive species here in the United States and is often very problematic and can invade both aquatic and terrestrial environments.
It is often spread by seed production or fragmentation. The aquatic form of this plant has the potential to become a serious threat to rivers, waterways, wetlands and irrigation systems.
The terrestrial variety forms dense mats with a massive underground rhizomatous root system.
Alligatorweed roots readily along waterways and then grows over the water surface as an anchored floating plant.
It has opposite, elliptical leaves that are thick but nonsucculent, without a petiole, and are up to four inches long.
The stems are light to dark green or often pink to dull reddish-purple, hollow and usually one-fourth-inch or less wide.
It also has distinctive silvery-white flowers.
There are numerous chemical control options such as Glyphosate (Rodeo), imazapyr (Arsenal), imazamox (Clearcast), etc., but before applying any of these chemicals, always make sure to read and follow the labels.
Anyone with questions about this weed or pond weed control in general may contact the Grady County Extension Office at 229-377-1312.